Its been 2 weeks since the big dance, and I have finally come down from cloud nine and am able to write my thoughts down about this unforgettable momentous day.
Going into the marathon my emotions were all over the place. About 2 weeks b4 the race I was just so done! I missed my last long run because I just didn’t feel like going out, and missed a couple training runs leading up to the race. I was just sick of all the early morning (waking up at 4am) weekend training runs, the forcing myself to wake up at the crack of dawn to run alone in the dark during the week….I was just done. I have never read anyone’s thoughts on the pre-marathon training, and what a major toll it takes on your life both physically, emotionally, and socially! If you had an active social life prior to thinking about training for a marathon be prepared to tell it bye bye! Don’t get me wrong, you can still live and have a great time; but you just have to make the time to fit it all in. With me having two young children at home I just found balancing everything not as easy as people make it out to be. Marathon Training takes sacrifice and dedication and if you don’t have that stick to 10k’s…lol!
I woke up at 4am race morning to give myself enough time to shower, get cute, and get out the door to make a 5:30 am bus from Runners Stop. Runner’s Stop is a local running store located in Lynbrook, NY. They chartered a bus to Staten Island, and then picked up all runners not too far from the finish line in NYC. It is a very convenient service that I was glad I signed up for! Yes it was a cheese bus, yes it was uncomfortable, and yes it was the best transportation decision I made that day! When we reached Staten Island, all the charter buses that NYRR transports runners to the start in were letting people off right at marathon village. It was super early, I would say around 7am when we reached that area. So everyone who was let off was waiting around for 3-4 hours for the race to begin. My start time was 11am. It wasn’t cold like last year, maybe in the uppers 40’s at that time, so waiting around for that many hours on your feet, or on the cold ground was probably not ideal. I was glad that I did not choose that transportation option. Our bus brought us to a local McDonalds where we hung out for those few hours.
Left to right: Kim, Terri, Janet, Jennifer, Ashleigh, Sharon, Michele, Wanda, Deb
Your probably wondering why the heck we were there so early if I didn’t start running until 11am. Well the race starts on the Verrazano Bridge. This bridge is the only way to drive from Brooklyn into Staten Island. The bridge closes at a certain time (not sure what time that is) so if you are not over the bridge by that time, then your only other option is to take the Ferry from Manhattan to Staten Island. When you pick your race transportation option through NYRR there are different ferry time slots that you can choose. The ferry is actually public transportation so yes you pick a time slot, but that doesn’t mean you have to stick to it. A lot of people figured that out and I heard the ferry was an absolute mess. It was super crowded and I read a lot of people missed their start time. I was again glad I didn’t choose that option.
I would say about 10:30 the people in Corral 4 (me!) get on the bus to head over to marathon village. The bus dropped us off at the tip of the village so I still had a ways to walk to my start corral. I think I walked about a mile in total to get there so I considered that my warm up! Walking through the village I started getting that scared excited feeling that comes with doing a big race. I had a goal time in mind (which was completely blown) so I got myself into a zone and just kept saying in my head you can do this. I put in the training (well mostly I did) I knew I had gotten faster, so I just knew I could pull it off. I went in with a plan to have a good half marathon split.
Pre-Start Marathon Village: Ashleigh, Deb, Me
Final pic before the race began
The race start was quite eventful. Picture thousands of people crowded into a small but large space (if that makes sense) on the Verazanno Bridge. By this point I split with all of my friends because we all had different start corrals. I knew I would be running the race alone, but I didn’t know it would be this lonely! Luckily everyone around me was alone as well, so we formed a stranger running little family for the time that we were on that bridge waiting to start. I read that Soprano for the Metropolitan Opera Susanna Phillips sang the national anthem, and also ran the race, but she didn’t sing it for my wave. A gentleman sang it which I cannot remember his name (sorry) but he ran the race as well.
Here are some pics while I was walking to the start.
The toll booths were behind these buses.
obligatory pre-race selfie
UPS cheering us on after doing baggage check.
My view of the start line
NYRR main stage
The Race Begins The first half of the race was pretty much went accordingly to plan….well not exactly!! My goal was to keep my pace sub 10 per mile. So anything under 10min miles I would be happy with. Well that went completely out of the window at the start of the race. There were 50,000+ people racing in total and 4 race waves, so 12,500 people starting at a time is huge! Most races don’t even have half that amount of people. So my first mile was incredibly slow and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. So after a few attempts of trying to get around people I eventually just stayed where I was and ran with the crowd. Once I was able to some what carve out my own space I figured I better make up some time and book it in mile 2, so that’s what I did! Miles 3-5 I don’t know what the heck happened! I think I was just really enjoying the race. There were people everywhere, and I mean everywhere. They were cheering, dancing, there were bands playing music, it was just really incredible and unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Mile 5 I stopped to take in some nutrition. I got my stingers out of my pouch, grabbed a cup of gatorade and popped a salt pill. I walked for about a minute and took my time eating and making sure everything went down safely. Mile 6-8 I stopped for gatorade and each station and walked through each stop. I knew my goal of getting to the half way mark by 2:15 was gone, so I figured I may as well take my time. Around mile 9 I saw some friendly faces on the sidelines, it was Vernell, Kisha, and Ellen of BGR! A huge smile spread across my face because I surely did not expect to see them on the streets of Brooklyn. They snapped this pic of me, and as you can see I have a huge smile on my face. I stopped and gave them all hugs, and I was on my way. This gave me a little pep in my step and I picked up the pace slightly going into mile 10. Around mile 10 (I think?) I ran into the QuickSilver Striders Crew. I stopped gave them all hugs, Susan passed me an orange, which at the time tasted like the best thing on earth because I was starving. Chrissy gave me some mustard packs (which I didn’t end up using) and I keep booking it. Just around the corner I saw my tri coach!!! A huge grin spread across my face because she told me she’d be around Atlantic Terminal (which she was just further down.) I didn’t see her where I imagined her to be, and thought she either left, or never came out; but she was there and I was so happy! She gave me a bit of a pep talked, ran with me for a few, and I was on my way….thx Coach Jax! Mile 11 I stopped to take in more nutrition; stingers, gatorade, and salt tabs. Now I’ve taken salt tabs before, but usually I’ll take only 1 during an entire workout. During the marathon I was popping one every 55 minutes, I think this was my fatal mistake. Your probably thinking she only drinks Gatorade??….yep I only drink Gatorade. I’ve been training with the Gatorade Endurance formula all year so I’m use to it. I never take water at races because sometimes it is just down right funky tasting. My body is use to Gatorade Endurance, so that is what I stick to.
Mile marker 13.1
I got to the halfway mark at 2:24:53. Definitely not the 2:15 I was looking for, but I was having a great time, so worrying about the time was the last thing on my mind. The 13.1 mile marker was on the Pulaski Bridge. I knew from my 20 mile training run that this bridge was a steady incline so I decided to take a breather and walk up this hill. As you can see everyone around me was walking as well. At this point I’m just thinking 13.1 your halfway there! Miles 13-14.5 I was feeling ok, but my 15 is when the cramping set in. Never in my life have I cramped during a run. I’m attributing it to taking in more salt than I usually do. Yes I know it’s normally the opposite, but this is the only thing I changed about my normally racing routine. I know I know the saying never try anything new on race day, but stupid me did! Once I got on the 59th street bridge it was so bad that I just started walking, and not even a brisk walk, I was walking in slow motion. The pain was from my quads all the way down to my toes. At this point I see the 4:45 pacer and my heart drops. My goal time was 4:40, so I know if I am seeing this pacer I am in trouble. I’m still walking and 5 minutes later (no I’m not exaggerating) I see the 5:00 pacer and I literally wanted to cry. I couldn’t believe both pacers caught up to me and passed me! This is the one point in the race that I wanted to quit. I was just thinking all of this hard work for nothing! I was pissed and in pain so I whipped out my phone and texted my friend Allison. As you can see I was probably delirious because I was on the 59th street bridge so this had to be somewhere between mile 15 and 16. After I text her I put my phone away and kept going. Once I got to the end of the bridge I started running. At this point I decided to drink only water until the end of the race. I wanted to get some of the salt out of my system. When I got to mile 16 I knew this was the BGR water station, and there was no way I was walking through it. I mustered up as much strength as I could and ran down the hill from the 59th street bridge and the crowd was roaring. This gave me the extra boost I needed. Now I volunteered at mile 16 for the last 2 yrs so I was very familiar with the setup. When I got to the
point where the water station usually begins I was confused….there was no water…huh! Just when I resigned myself to drink water there was none. Turns out they moved the station down one block because there was a new citi bike station set up where the mile 16 water station use to begin. So I keep trekking and I see DawnMarie! I stop to give her a hug, she asks how I’m doing I tell her I’ve been cramping, and I drink some water. At this point I’m completely stopped and it feels good! Dawn snaps my pic. Then I look across and Dawn L. is over there!!! So you know I had to run across the street and say hey to my girl. Dawn had her daughter out volunteering with her, as well as some of their Jack & Jill crew….I luv when the kids give back.
About 3 weeks prior I ran these exact last 10 miles of the marathon route as practice. At that time I didn’t think it was easy, so I knew it would be extremely difficult now. As soon as I cleared the water station I started cramping again so I started walking as fast as I could which was not very fast at all, but I did the best that I could. Mile 17-19 I continually flushed my system with water. I was taking 2 cups at a time at this point. The run down 2nd Avenue was pretty flat, but I knew when I got to the Willis Avenue bridge it would not be easy. This bridge was a steady incline. I ran as much of it as I could but decided to save my legs and walk some more. Once I got to the end of the bridge I started running again. I remember coming off of the bridge, rounding the corner, and passing a community center I worked at one summer as a teenager. There was also a group giving massages on the side of the road, it was really amazing. The run through the Bronx was so short that if you blinked you missed it. I was really saddened by that since this is my home Boro, but I K.I.M. (kept it moving!)
Willis Ave Bridge…what are my hands doing?
We crossed back over the 138th street bridge and into Harlem, my second home as a teenager….if those streets could talk! The cramping begin to die down a bit, but I was still feeling it here and there. Once I got to Marcus Garvey I saw Coach Sid Young (Team for Kids – you can see him and my previous post about the marathon expo.) He put his arm around me and walked with me and gave me a much needed pep talk. He told me I was almost home, which runners hate to hear, but he was right, I only had 5 miles to go, that was a cake walk right? Coach Sid sent me on my way and I kept booking. Here comes mile 22. By this time my contacts are completely dried out, which has never happened on a run! I am seeing clouds and trying not to blink to keep my vision as clear as possible. All of a sudden I hear someone calling my name. This is not uncommon since I have my name on my leg. Then this person starts waving at me, but I’m thinking I don’t know anyone out here, then I blink and it’s Allison!!! I run over to her and Zaire and give them hugs! She asks how I’m doing…still cramping but much better. She gives me a big bag of pretzels and those pretzels looked like a steak to me at that point because I was starving. We snap a pic and I yell what are you guys doing here! I was so shocked to see them because I text her like an hour ago and although I didn’t see her reply until later when I got home I was thinking why didn’t she tell me she would be out there! I literally almost cried because I was so happy to see them. This was probably the highlight of my race. I knew my time goal was gone, physically I was having the worse race of my life, but to see a familiar face so late in the race was a real confidence booster….thank you Allison and Zaire!
Mile 22-24 I’m just trucking along and eating my pretzels. Those were the best damn pretzels ever! At that point the cramping was gone and I was just trying to make it to the finishline before dark. I was determined to have my finisher pics with daylight as my backdrop. Somewhere around mile 23-24(I think) we enter Central Park. This is the home stretch. I look at my watch and I am at 5hrs. I said to myself you better cross before 5:30, so now that was my new goal. By this point it was all a mental game so I just did my best to move as fast as I could. I get to mile 25 and couldn’t resist taking a pic.
It took me a couple tries. The sun was setting and was directly in my face. People were all around me walking/running/wogging, you name it, but I got the shot!
1.2 miles to go, I was home free. I buckled down and ran my fastest mile since mile 14. Mile 26 was 12:38. My miles 15-25 were all in the 13-14 min range. I was happy that I had something left in the tank to make it to the end in 5:27:50. Yes it wasn’t the time I had in mind by far, but I had the time of my life. The NYC Marathon is the biggest marathon in the world for a reason, and I am so happy it was my first. Finishing this marathon is right next to finishing my 70.3, and it is a day that I will never forget. So much so that even though I said I would not be doing it next year……I AM!!! Yes I will be running the 2016 NYC Marathon, and yes I am certifiable! Next year I will hopefully get my redemption.
Hellooooo!!! I know I’ve been MIA for a while, but hey sometimes life gets in the way! Couple that with the non-stop marathon training I’ve been doing this summer and it has surely been a doosey! I haven’t been racing that much other than completing NYRR’s 9+1 program which will guarantee me entry into the 2016 NYC Marathon, which I doubt I’ll be doing, but never say never! I’m in taper mode right now, so no more super weekend long runs, and basically I’m just maintaining until the big dance on November 1st.
This past Sunday I ran for the 2nd time in Staten Island. I remember last year after leaving I said I was never going back there again, and low and behold I was back there again! I remember last year as soon as I got out of the car I said out loud “what the heck is that smell!” I mean Staten Island (SI) was funky! This year however, I didn’t smell anything weird so SI redeemed itself in my book, and the race was already off to a good start. This year NYRR changed the course route. Last year it was an out and back, so the exact route we ran out, we turned around and ran the same way back. This year however that all changed.
Walking to our coral
The walk to the start was incredibly long. Race Central is in Richmond County Bank Ballpark which was home to the Staten Island Yankees. We exit the stadium underground and proceed up the stairs, and out to the corals. Now this race is massive, so there are people everywhere. I felt as though we walked at least a half a mile just to get to our coral.
I was feeling really good at the start of the race. My plan going in was to keep my pace in the 9’s. I didn’t have a set pace of high 9’s or low 9’s but to just stay under 10 the entire race. I accomplished that goal for the first 5 miles of the race. At mile 6 I stopped to get some gatorade, and take in some nutrition so my pace that mile was 10:09. When I look back and think on this I do the same thing every single race. Instead of picking up my pace in mile 5 so I do not loose precious time on my mile 6 nutrition, I always maintain the same pace. Some day soon I will master this and get my pacing right; practice makes perfect. Anywho, I took in my stingers and gatorade, and the course turned onto some type of weird brick walk way. As I’m running I think this is strange. It was not a comfortable run and all, and I hoped it would be over soon. It was, but it only got worse. We ended up running on the boardwalk. This was not a smooth boardwalk at all. It was rickety and almost unstable. I almost felt like at any moment it was going to collapse with the number of people that were running on it. I’ve never run on a boardwalk so this was something new to me. Miles 8-9 was absolute torture for me, and as much as I tried I just could not go any faster. I really began to get discouraged at that point, because I was making such good time and it just all almost came to a screeching halt. When we finally exited the boardwalk after 2 miles I was overjoyed! I didn’t care what else was on the horizon. As I round a mini hill, and come around a bend I encounter the biggest hill I’ve ever seen! I mean the thing was massive and this picture just does not do it justice. It was a great scenic route though running under the Verazzano Bridge. As I’m attempting to run up the hill I realize that I was losing the battle so I started to walk it. Everyone around me was walking so I thought what the heck! There was a guy running next to me and he was running so slow I patted him on the shoulder and said just walk it out man, you’ll get up this thing much faster. He laughed and said you’re right!
Once we made it up that hill we ran into Fort Wadsworth Park. I have to say it was a really beautiful route, and it made me forget about the massive hill I just climbed. By mile 10 I stopped for some gatorade and just tried to regroup so that I could finish strong. Once I was there I said you have 5k to go, finish strong. Mile 11 went well, mile 12 I stopped for more gatorade, and I don’t know what the heck happened during mile 13. All I know is that I ran the most difficult half marathon course I have ever ran, and I did it in the fastest time that I’ve ever ran 13.1. I was shocked and extremely pleased with the end result. I always say that yes running is physical, but it is an extreme mental game as well. I can tell myself to keep going and push through, and somehow I get it done. My ultimate goal now is to do a sub 2hr half marathon. I don’t care if it is 1:59:59, as long as I finish in under 2hrs. I know it won’t happen this year since I don’t have any more half’s planned (well just 1), but this is my 1 running goal that I am shooting for in 2016.
Why do we kiss and bite medals again?
Overall I really enjoyed this race. I read many comments about people complaining about the hills, and all I can say is suck it up. You knew you were running Staten Island, and you knew it was hilly, so just be happy that you were able to complete 13.1 on such a hard course. New Yorkers run in Central Park so we are use to running hills. Complaining about this course was unnecessary. I liked the race, but an hour plus to get there, and 3hrs to get off SI and home is enough for me to say this is the last time I’ll be doing it.
My next big race is the NYC Marathon on November 1st. Be sure to follow me on my social media platforms as I’ll be vlogging, and periscoping from the expo, and other events I’ll be attending marathon weekend.
So yesterday I had the esteemed pleasure (lol) of running the Queens 10k for the 2nd time. I took the entire week off……I felt I deserved a bit of rest so this was my first run since that disastrous run (walk) at Ironman Eagleman last weekend, and I have to say I was really a bit scared to attempt to run again. After suffering through that unbearable heat I really didn’t know if I could make my legs move in any form of rapid motion again…but alas I did it! Side note…I didn’t realize how slim I’ve gotten until I saw the pic above….check out those guns though LMAO!!!
Anywho, Deb, Allison, and I carpooled it over to Queens. There were severe thunderstorms forecast for
Me and Allison
this day, along with rain all day, so they pushed back the start an hour. BTW, neither happened but it turned out to be a super humid muggy day, and the sun didn’t show her pretty face until the race was over. This race was huge…and I mean ginormous! My number was in the 10,000s, and I believe they went up to like 14,000 so there had to be at least 9k-10k people in this race, and I certainly felt it. It was a tight squeeze at the start. The race started in Corona Park and the
pathways are not that wide, so it made the corrals feel very sardine like. Of course we had to have a little bit of fun and get some pre-race selfies in! As I got to the start mat my heart began to race. I was legitimately very nervous. It felt like the exact same feeling that I felt before the start of the swim at Eagleman. I haven’t felt nervous before a running race probably since my first 5k. I think I just needed to get the jitters out. Eagleman did leave me a bit traumatized from the run, so once I mentally let it go I was ok.
Fast forward to running. I was doing a lot of bobbing and weaving the first mile because there were just so many people. On top of that there were sooooo many people walking early on. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with walking, but just like when you drive a car if you are going slower you should stay to the right. Faster runners will run to the left so walking there can easily turn into an unwarranted accident. I was feeling pretty good the first 2.5 miles, but by the time I got to mile 3 the humidity got me. I was soaked with sweat. It felt like I stopped in the middle of the race and took a shower. At one point I looked down at my crotch and asked myself “did you pee on yourself” lmao!! I didn’t but had to ask myself to make sure because it surely looked like it! I stopped at mile 3 to get some water and boy was that a mistake! The water literally tasted like a rusty pipe…it was really disgusting! I believe at mile 4 there was Gatorade so I gladly slurped that down to remove the rusty water taste from my mouth. Looking at my time now, I can see how I shut down after mile 3. I now know that I have to make this summer my training playground, because girlfriend does not do well in heat and humidity…another lesson learned, and I am still chasing that official race sub 60 10k…I’ll get there!
I booked it as best as I could to get to the finishline. All I could remember was running this race 2 yrs ago and seeing people who already finished with no medals around their neck. I know we shouldn’t run for medals, but it is always nice to get one. That wasn’t the case this year (or last) NYRR had nice shiny medals waiting for us at the finishline. A girl asked me to take a pic of her and this was one of the poses she did. I thought it was cute and copied her….her pic came out waaaay better than mine…LMAO!!!
So now I am on to marathon training. The NYC Marathon is about 18weeks away I believe, so I will be pounding the pavement regularly until then. Still triathlon training as well. I’ve mapped out my next race, haven’t registered yet, but I am just a click away….it’ll be in about 4 months, so I’ll be working on improving my bike and swim as well in the coming months.
This past Sunday I ran the half marathon (13.1 miles) at the Long Island Marathon. When I woke up I checked the weather and it was a bit on the cooler side, but would warm up later, so I grabbed a sweater just in case I was a little cold in the morning. I ended up not using the sweater at all since it warmed up pretty quickly.
This race is close to home so getting there is a breeze, but the parking situation is a mess! The race starts in one place and ends in another which is a logistical nightmare for a runner. I parked my car in Eisenhower park because that was where the finish line was, but this meant that I had to trek like a mile and a half to the start. Additionally I had to get to the park super early (6:45am) just to make sure I was able to get in since there were road closures starting at 7am. The race didn’t start until 8am so it was a bit of a waiting game. I’m happy that I at least got to wait in my car so that I wasn’t freezing my buns off! Oftentimes we have to stand around in the cold waiting for a race to start and trust me it is not fun at all!
After making it to the start with my coffee in hand I was able to snap a few pics. Of course my obligatory deuces up photo….can’t leave home without it! You can see the mob of people behind me, and trust me that is a very small snap shot of the number of people out there…it was really a huge race!
With my buddy Deb. No she is not frowning, but we were facing directly into the sun. Not sure how I kept a straight face with this one. How do you like our RUNtheSol tanks?? Cute huh! Check out http://RUNtheSol.com for more details.
Me and Deb
Wanda, Me, & Deb
So once the race started I was feeling really good. I know I wanted to keep my pace in the 9’s so that I could maintain it throughout the whole race. My goal was sub 2:30 which is probably more like a 10 minute pace, but I wanted the extra wiggle room just in case I conked out in the end (which I did), so in the 9’s I went. I was chugging along and even had a running buddy the first 10k. I didn’t stop at any of the water stops because I don’t usually need any until mile 6 so I stuck with that plan. Once I got to mile 6 I was a little under 60 mins…I believe 58 minutes, so I knew it was time to take in some fuel. This was my mistake. I stopped at the mile 6 for water and to take my honey stinger energy chews. I sipped, popped 6 stingers all while walking. Now don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with walking the water stops. Sometimes it can give you that bit of rest you need to keep going, but in my instance it really slowed me down tremendously. I felt like I lost all of my momentum after that first small walk…and by small I mean like 20-30 seconds. After that I could not get my pace below 10. I was constantly hovering around 10:30, sometimes lower. No matter how much I tried to move faster my legs just would not cooperate. Sometimes when I though I was moving faster I would look down at my watch and be at an 11 pace! I really though I was in the twilight zone because it just made absolutely no sense! I just could not fully control my body.
There was one part of the race where we were running on the Wantagh Parkway, and it was like zombies running on the highway. It was eerily quiet except for the patter of runners feet. At that point I wish I had some music to listen too!! This was also the never ending hill climb. Somewhere between mile 9 and 10 I was just thinking to myself will this hill ever end. It was the longest gradual incline I think I’ve ever ran! As you can see after mile 6 my per minute mile really increased. I’ll have to work on that for my next half in 10 days.
I blew my sub 2:30 time out of the water with a time of 2:15 which I was really happy about. I was looking at my watch often those last few miles because I knew I was slowing down, but I knew I was still making pretty good time. Once I crossed the finish line I just thought to my self wow, you did much better than expected!
There were a few freebies at this race. You can see my gratis #LoveSnapple shades below. They had a booth at the finishline and were giving away canvas goody bags with t-shirts, glasses, and stickers.
There was also a beer pit. There was tons of free beer. Why someone would want to drink beer at 10:30 in the morning I have no idea, but more power to you! I think the registration fee was worth it in the free beer alone!
Yes I love my headbands….my collection is getting OOC!
A couple weeks ago I kicked off my multisport season with the Brands Duathlon. You may recall I did the exact same race last October and it was not pretty!! Cold and rainy, it was an experience that I will never forget. You can read more about it HERE. So this race is also very close to home, so I got to get up maybe a couple hours b4 the race started, showered, grabbed a bite, and was out the door.
The weather was actually perfect. I can’t remember the exact temperature , but the cycling jacket I was prepared to wear I didn’t need to because it was just that nice outside. Yes I do love me some red! You can catch a glimpse of Ruby (my bike) behind me with the red helmet hanging off the bars.
I have to say Race Awesome did an amazing job with the set up and organization of this race. If you look very closely you can see a white sticker on the bike rack. That sticker had my full name and bib number on it. I haven’t done that many multisport races, but this is the first time that I’ve seen this and it made for a very non-complicated transition area, so kudos to you Race Awesome for making it easier on your athletes.
Preparing to mount b4 the bike leg
This Duathlon was Run 1.2 miles, Bike 11 miles, Run 1.2 miles, so fairly short distance wise, but for a newbie a challenge nonetheless. I felt really good on the run and managed to squeak out a 8:55 mile pace which is pretty good considering I’m running in the mid 9’s right now.
On to the bike. The bike is my least favorite of the three disciplines. I would have never thought that biking would be so difficult, but I am still learning and progressing with every ride. Now I’ve been riding a trainer indoors since February and have been clipping in so I’ve gotten pretty comfy on the bike, but a couple weeks before this race (maybe a week) was the first time I took my tri bike out on the road, and it was not pretty at all! In fact it was so ugly that I bust my a$$ trying to clip my left foot in. The fall was so bad a woman came running up to me asking if I was ok. I was laughing at myself because I fell but I let her know I was fine and got back up and started my ride. When I got home and took off my tights I realized my knee was busted up a bit and bleeding. I’m told I have 2 more falls to go until I am a real cyclists!
I go into this story because this fall happened at the exact same park that this Duathlon took place so I was being very cautious as to not wipe out in front of a crowd full of people while mounting my bike! The mount went well with no falls. This bike course is fairly easy except for the fact that about a minute or 2 into it you have to climb a small hill. This means you have to climb this hill on the way back because it is a looped course. The only thing that I did not like about the bike course was the u turn that has to be made. The turn is fairly tight, and turns into a one lane turn which can get a bit tricky if the person in front of you basically comes to a complete stop to make the turn. On my 2nd loop this happened and I had to steer into the dirt which apparently is a big no no on my bike. I felt like I was about to fall and had to quickly clip out my left foot just in case. I actually ended up steering into the oncoming bikes which turned out to not be so bad because there were only a few people coming. I got back in the right lane and shouted out “sorry guys” and someone yelled “well at least you didn’t fall” and I said “thank goodness” laughed and kept going. That was my only mishap on the bike other than not going into aero (ugh). I managed to finish the bike in about 44.77.
My feet felt like bricks of course as I prepared to start the last leg. It takes me a long time, like the first full mile to get my legs back which was not good because that was all I had! Coming off the bike I was in 3rd place in my division, but finished in 5th so I have much work to do on my run leg. This run leg was at a 09:51 pace, so almost a full minute slower than the opening mile. Now when I think about the mini tri where they wrote our ages on our calfs I am wishing we had that in the Du so I could have seen those 30-34 yr olds running by me! I’ll catch them next time!
Overall another good race in the books. I wasn’t lying in bed afterwards so my conditioning was pretty good, and all those early morning training sessions feel like they are paying off. The countdown to Ironman Eagleman continues!
Yes I know I haven’t posted for a long while, and for very good reason….life and tri training has certainly gotten in the way! I have lots of race recaps to post, but I’ll start out with yesterdays mini tri. It was a 400m pool swim, 6 mile bike, 2 mile run. It’s described as a mini tri for obvious reasons, and it was the kick off for my tri season.
We are lined up according to our self predicted swim time
When my alarm went off at 5:30 I woke up feeling sluggish. My teammie text me good luck and I replied “Thx! I’m tired don’t feel like it” I have to laugh at that now because its so true and is exactly how I felt! I didn’t eat before the race which is a big no no, and is probably part of the reason I wasn’t feeling 100%, but I had to press on! Luckily this race is very close to home, so I was out the door and at the race within 20 minutes. A short commute to the race is always nice. I reached the site around 7:15 so I had plenty of time to set up my bike in transition(which I didn’t get a picture of), get body marked, and get in to the pool for a warm up swim.
I was able to get in a 200m warm up which was desperately needed, and still was not enough. I’m usually pretty tight on my swim for the first 350 meters or so, so warming up 30mins b4 the race, and standing around freezing for 25 didn’t help my cause at all! This pool was the home to the 1998 Goodwill games, so it is Olympic sized. The race is very controlled, but can get hectic very quickly. We are lined up along the back wall of the pool according to what time we think we’ll finish the swim portion. This is done strictly on the honor system which I think they should change; primarily because people start in a faster time slot than they should and end up hanging on the rope, or swimming much slower and holding faster swimmers behind them up. I had an ok swim with a time of 10:15. I’ve been swimming pretty consistently in the high 8’s to mid 9’s so I know I could have went faster. Having to go around people hanging on the wall, slower swimmers in front of me, and men trampling over me I think led to the slower time, but this is preparing me for Eagleman so in the end I was happy for the distractions.
So I’m out of the pool and running out the door to get to the bike transition. There was faux grass carpet down and I was thankful for that, but the rocks underneath…ouch! My left foot is still a bit sore from running on it, but off I went.
My transition1 time was pretty slow at 2:51, but after running on the nasty dirt there was no way I was putting my filthy feet in my socks and shoes…enter girly girl mode. So I had to clean off my feet properly, get my helmet and shoes on, un-rack my bike, and off I went! I think the bike went pretty good with a time of 19:11. I’m still getting to know Ruby (my bike) and am feeling wobbly in aero, so that time could be faster, but it’s a good starting point.
Here’s some video of me dismounting after the bike portion…yes I need some work, but I’m learning!
Bike to Run Transition was 1:35, much faster than T1, and off to the run I go! The run felt pretty good. My feet didn’t feel like total bricks since the ride was only 6 miles, but it did take most of the first mile to get my legs back. By the time I got to the start of the 2nd mile I was feeling pretty good and ready to bring it home. After a cup of water I high tailed it to the finish. My run leg was 19:09.
Finishline hug from Double L
All in all I thought it was a good race. I almost want to register for the same race next month but the all woman version to better my time. I placed 5th in my division. Just 2:30 minutes or so out of 3rd place, so I think if I speed up a smidge on each leg I can podium next time….we’ll see!